Manzini Municipality Celebrates Women Who Make A Difference in The City
It is widely acknowledged that investing in women and girls translates to broader social and economic impact; an approach referred to as ‘smart economics’. However, the world continues to grapple with the issue of gender parity as a result of deeply entrenched cultural norms which condone discrimination against women. These discriminatory practices often prevent women from achieving their full potential as productive members of society as they are marred by unequal access to economic opportunities as well as participation in governance and politics. It is from the above premise and in line with the spirit of international women’s month that the Municipal Council of Manzini takes this opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the contribution made by women, at all societal levels and spheres, to the socio-economic and political development of the City of Manzini.
- WOMEN INFORMAL TRADERS CELEBRATED FOR CONTRIBUTION TO ECONOMY
According to a study conducted by the Eswatini Economic Policy Analysis and Research Centre (ESEPARC) in 2016, the shadow economy in the Kingdom of Eswatini accounts for 37.4 percent of the formal economy. The shadow economy, also referred to as informal economy, comprises of all legal business activity that is not regulated by the national government; largely with regard to taxation. According to the Coalition of Informal Economy Association of Swaziland (CIEAS) website, over 60 percent of members of the informal economy in Eswatini are women; and these comprise of street vendors, market vendors and other forms of informal business activities. The shadow economy offers an alternative economic pathway to support basic livelihoods amongst poor members of society. It is a driver for employment creation to those who struggle to get jobs in the country. The informal sector of the City of Manzini has a total of 2,374 members and 65 percent of these are women. These women informal traders are responsible for the livelihoods of many families and thus contribute to the reduction of poverty and keeping family members away from criminal activity. The Municipality celebrates these women for the magnificent role that they play towards socio-economic upliftment within the city.
TOTAL NUMBER OF LEGAL INFORMAL TRADERS WITHIN THE CITY OF MANZINI
|CATEGORY||NUMBER OF TRADERS||PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN|
|2.Fruit & vegetables||541||90%|
|8.Shoe and watch repairs||43||0%|
|9. Mobile Money and airtime||87||40%|
|10.Ice blocks and ice cream||125||70%|
|11.Handicraft traders – Manzini Trade Hub||500||75%|
- HER MAJESTY INDLOVUKAZI CELEBRATED FOR MANZINI TRADE HUB
The Municipal Council of Manzini takes this opportunity to appreciate and celebrate Her Majesty the Indlovukazi for her interest with regard to the welfare of the informal traders who travel from all corners of the country to engage in informal trade in the City of Manzini every Wednesday and Thursday. These informal traders, 75 percent of whom are women, have for many years been trading in an unconducive environment wherein they were exposed to unfavourable weather conditions.
However, through Her Majesty’s vision and effort, the over 500 traders today conduct their trade in a conducive infrastructure (named Manzini Trade Hub); which facility has all the necessary amenities that enable the traders to conduct their trade in a decent and modern environment. Manzini Municipality manages the facility as well as periodically provides the traders with entrepreneurship capacity building initiatives.
- APPRECIATION TO WOMEN VOLUNTEERS WHO HELP IN SOCIAL CENTRES
The City of Manzini takes care of approximately 1,600 underprivileged children who benefit one meal per day plus early childhood education in eight social centres that are located in various municipal wards in the city. At least 40 community members, 80 percent of whom are women, religiously volunteer their time and energy on a daily basis, cooking for the children without expecting any pay. The Municipal Council of Manzini takes this time to celebrate these women for their contribution to the social wellbeing of children in the city. The Municipality further celebrates a further 17 women volunteers who conduct regular home visits in the communities; educating community members about how to prevent Mother To Child Transmission of HIV. Also worth acknowledging and appreciating this women’s month are five female youths who volunteer their time and energy as part of the Municipality’s LaMvelase HIV/AIDS programme; educating their peers in the communities on the importance of education, good health and issues relating to HIV and AIDS. These youths are also the ones who ensure that citizens have easy access to condoms by distributing them in strategic parts of the city.
- MUNICIPALITY CELEBRATES ALL WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
There is growing evidence that women in positions of leadership and political decision-making improve the systems in which they work. The Municipal Council of Manzini takes this opportunity to celebrate and applaud the women who have swum against the tide and occupied positions of influence in the City of Manzini, both in the corporate world and political sphere. These trailblazers have played a significant role in neutralizing the gender disparity that exists in these spheres of society. The City of Manzini, for example, is led by a woman Mayor and the city administration is led by a woman Chief Executive Officer. On another note, one of the two Members of Parliament that represent the city is a woman. A number of governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as schools in the city are led by women; and they are doing well. The Municipality commends the men who have over the years given these women leaders the necessary support over the years.
…TOWARDS A GREEN CITY: MANZINI YOUTHS PLANT TREES IN THE CITY
A number of youths from different municipal wards, who also form part of the Imali Ngetibi company whose purpose is the provision of recycling services in the city, have come together and facilitated for tree planting in the various recreational parks within the Manzini urban area. This forms part of an effort to promote a green city. The trees were provided by the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs and the tree planting campaign was led by the Eswatini National Youth Cooperatives Alliance. The initiative commenced at the beginning of this month and the trees have been planted within the Millennium Park, King Somhlolo Park, Wilmer Park, the recreational parks that are located within Fairview North and Fairview South townships as well as in Zakhele township. The Municipal Council of Manzini is grateful to the youth and all other relevant stakeholders for their contribution. The following photos were taken during the tree planting exercise…